red dot award: design concept winner’s interview series

During the final registration phase of the red dot award: design concept 2012, we bring you a series of interviews with some of our outstanding winners from last year and updates of their latest design endeavours after their red dot win.

Young and aspiring designer Park Jeil won the red dot: best of the best for his concept “Flowall”. The “Flowall” is a lighting system that aims to forge connections with the user in physical and phenomenological terms. We met the designer himself to find out more about his progress on working towards commercialising the product. He also shed some light about being a designer in Korea.

red dot: What inspired you to conceptualise the “Flowall”?
Park Jeil: Every time when I start my project, I search for elements such as specific materials, traditional processes, architecture, joke, etc, that have the specific potential to enhance my designs. For this work "Flowall", the focus was on 'the moment in time'. This abstract concept is visualised through my design work. The purpose is to make people sense and understand it while using the lamp.

red dot: What is the reason for you to submit this piece of work to the “red dot: design concept”?
Park Jeil: The red dot design award is one of the most renowned awards in the world. I had always wanted to show my works and see how people would perceive them. The red dot design award was definitely a great chance for that.

red dot: How is your progress on working towards commercialising the product? What difficulties have you encountered so far?
Park Jeil: When I submitted "Flowall", it was actually still in progress. It was based on a sensor system with expensive technology. But now, this project has been modified to be suitable for commercialisation. The newer version of 'Flowall' functions with a system of ropes in tension and a shooter instead of a kinetic sensor. Made of acrylic plastic covered with fabric and linked together by a thread, the blades will be lighter and cheaper for a possible commercialisation of the design in the future.

red dot: What are you plans for the future of “Flowall”?
Park Jeil: I’m in the midst of finding a manufacturer for "Flowall".

red dot: Have you exhibited the “Flowall” anywhere? How was the feedback?
Park Jeil: Last year, I exhibited the newer version of “Flowall” in Korea at a Korea & Japan creator exchange exhibition called “ETTEDA2011?, and a furniture & living object group project exhibition called “Raumkunst”. Several architects and interior designers asked me if it would be manufactured soon. As the idea for “Flowall” was sparked of by a unique starting point and source of inspiration, many said that it is interesting.

ETTEDA is an exhibition collaboration between Japanese and Korean designers. The exhibition offers them a platform to showcase their designs, exchange ideas and forge meaningful friendships.
“Raumkunst” was an exhibition that focused on “Beyond itself”, meaning designers designed the products to enhance their usefulness and aesthetics, beyond their basic functions.

red dot: What are your design inspirations and goals?
Park Jeil: My concept of design process is inspired by every surrounding element that has the potential to reinforce my design works. It could be either actual or abstract elements. For example, 'time' was an element that inspired me for “Flowall”.

I am currently working with specific materials, shapes and traditional of processes but these are only methodological issues that inspire my design projects. The purpose is to enhance the value of objects that people don't experience in ordinary life with these methodological issues.

red dot: Tell us more about being a designer in Korea.
Park Jeil: Currently many young Korean designers are working overseas. A number of designers have started to set up their own studios and it is now more common to see individual design studios in Korea.

Designers in Korea are mainly involved in client work but many are actually trying to establish their own philosophies and express their thoughts through their designs. I believe that the design works in Korea that come out from this endeavour will become valuable in the international market.

red dot: What does winning a “red dot: best of the best” mean to you?
Park Jeil: Being a winner of the “red dot award: best of the best” was a great honour for me. It was a reaffirmation for myself as a designer. Winning the award has also motivated me to start various other projects.

» Further information on Jeil Park and his works

» Online exhibition of the "red dot award: design concept 2011"